No category

Late Hotel Comercio

During the first two years of his stay in Baeza, Antonio Machado lived alone, still without his mother, Mrs. Ana Ruiz, in the now vanished Hotel Comercio, the only inn in the entire city, located on Calle San Pablo.

Today the hotel is converted into flats and only its facade is preserved. Until its transformation, the room was preserved as it was occupied by the poet, number 15 on the first floor, whose balcony overlooked the front of the Palacio de los Salcedo and had a view to the mountains of Magina to the west.

No category

New Casino

The Casino de Señores, or New Casino, was an important meeting point for Machado.

The casino is still located in the same historic building on Calle de San Pablo. In his hall of mirrors, the poet sometimes prolonged his gatherings and upon request, you can see the document where the poet appears as the first passing member of the casino.

A beautiful seated sculpture of the poet has been placed next to the facade of the building, made by the sculptor Antonio Pérez Almahano in 2009.

No category

Rebotica by Don Adolfo Almazán

Machado used to attend the gatherings that were held in the afternoons in the back room of Don Adolfo Almazán, gymnastics teacher at the institute and mayor of the city in 1914.

The original building of the Almazán pharmacy was located on Calle de San Francisco, in front of the old Franciscan convent. The pharmacy was in operation until the seventies of the 20th century. Later the building where it was located was closed and then demolished. In these meetings, although the poet used to keep quiet and listen to others, they talked about politics, the country and the weather. Some gatherings where Machado would join the pharmacist’s friends: the doctor, a councilor, the director of the institute, a lawyer, the notary, the registrar and the institute’s secretary.



(…)It’s nighttime. People are chatting in the back of a store.

“I don’t know,

don José,

how these liberals can be so rotten, so immoral.”(…)

No category

Residence in Gaspar Becerra street

The professor’s salary did not allow Antonio Machado many expenses, so he soon had to leave the Hotel Comercio and look for rental accommodation.

First, he rented a house to reside with his mother on Prado de la Cárcel Street (today Pasaje del Cardenal Benavides), but he found it ramshackle and cold, so he moved to another, although more modest, as he found it more comfortable and bright. An adjoining house on the same street, which was on the corner of Calle Gaspar Becerra, from where Machado could see the Plateresque façade of the old jail, today Baeza City Hall. He lived there, alone or temporarily accompanied by members of his family, until his transfer to Segovia in 1919.

Currently there is a mosaic (Pasaje del Cardenal Benavides) and a plaque (Gaspar Becerra Street) that recall the presence of the poet in this house.

No category

Walk of the walls

Progressively, Antonio Machado got used to the rural environment of Baeza and its dazzling landscape outside the city. He enjoyed peri-urban walks that took him to the Cerro del Alcázar and over the remains of the old wall. One of the spaces most frequented by Antonio Machado, who walked it again and again in his meditation exercises.

At one point along the walk, a plaque and a monument to Antonio Machado with a bust of Pablo Serrano remind us of the poet today. This sculpture was made to pay homage to the poet in 1966, although it did not arrive in Baeza until 1983. From the viewpoints of the promenade it dominates the middle valley of the Guadalquivir with its beautiful horizon carpeted with olive trees and cut out by the mountains of Cazorla, Mágina and Los Aznaitín and Jabalcuz mountains.

This scenery served as an escape and a boost to his creative capacity, as here he conceived sublime verses that describe this landscape.



of the old Moorish city,

I contemplate the silent afternoon,

alone with my shadow and my grief.

The river is flowing

between shady gardens

and gray olive groves,

through the cheerful fields of Baeza.

The vineyards have golden vines

on the red stocks.

The Guadalquivir shines and reflects

like the pieces of a broken cutlass.(…)

Monumento a Antonio Machado en el Paseo de las Murallas
No category

The Arch of Barbudo

While you enjoy in wandering through the marvelous Old Town of Baeza, stop by the Arch of Barbudo.

This stone arch is what remains of one of the main access gates to the city. Its real name is Arco de San León, in honor of the Franciscan convent and former hermitage and later changed its name for the Arch of Barbudo(“Puerta del Barbudo”). The reason is given by the Portuguese Martín Yánez de la Barbuda, Master of the Order of Alcántara, who in 1394 passed through it with a large army to fight against the Muslims from Granada, being defeated and killed.

It is also the gate through which Jorge Manrique and his allies are supposed to have entered in the fight against Diego Fernández de Córdoba.

Through this gate, built in masonry, opening an opening with a semicircular arch of radial voussoirs and narrow ashlar jambs, one entered the Barbacana , a defensive space that remained between the walls.

No category

Plaza del Pópulo / Plaza de los Leones( The…

As with the Plaza de Santa María, Federico García Lorca describes the Plaza del Pópulo or de los Leones in an admired and somber way, lamenting the abandonment in which it is found.


(…) In a serene square, which has an elegant but mutilated and shattered little palace, a graceful altar with rag flowers next to the aristocratic seriousness of a triumphal arch with a warrior’s air, and a fountain with lions blurred in the stone ( …)

The Plaza del Populo was one of the most important squares in Baeza, which housed the main public buildings. In this square there were institutions such as the Old Butchers -current seat of the courts-, the Civil Court and Public Notaries or Pópulo House -current Tourist Office-, the Arch of Villalar, the Puerta de Jaén or the Fuente de los Leones , named for the ornamental elements in the shape of a lion from which the water gushed out and that apparently come from the Ibero-Roman ruins of Cástulo, which today is in question, because for experts in Iberian sculpture its siliceous stone carving and its formal appearance suggest a much more modern chronology.

No category

Convent-College of Carmen-San Basilio

As you can see, the name of the Convent-College can be misleading: del Carmen or San Basilio? The reason is because, although the convent was called Nuestra Señora del Carmen, the popular name could be San Basilio because he is the patron of the College:

“Note that this school from the day it was founded was given as Patron Saint Basilio and has Nuestra Señora del Carmen as title, and yet many call it San Basilio for not distinguishing between Patron and Title”

“Estudios Joselinos” 46, 1992, pp. 15-25, taken from GABRIEL BELTRÁN O.C.D . Testament of Fray Gregorio de San Angelo, in “Saint John of the Cross” No. 12, 1993, pp. 279-291.

The convent of Nuestra Señora del Carmen in Baeza is where Saint John of the Cross founded the first Colegio Mayor of the Barefoot Order, which was intended to be established in localities with training centers (remember that Baeza was a university headquarters) so that better prepared vocations could emerge.

The mystical poet remained in this city of Jaén until 1582 as rector of the Colegio Mayor, a position that shows the public recognition of his high intellectual level, although he personally refused to teach at the university.

Unfortunately, the original building was torn down in years sixties of the twentieth century to build the new building that currently belongs to the School of Arts and Crafts of the city, with no vestige left of the place of such great importance. Except for a statue dedicated to the Saint in the entrance garden to the School of Arts and Crafts.

No category

Vicar’s House

Saint John of the Cross resided in the so-called house of the Vicar throughout his stay in Baeza, until 1582. This house, which is still preserved, was the first house in which the Carmelites lived when they arrived in the city, to immediately move to the houses of Juan de Escos, in La Calancha, and later in the new convent (Convento de Nuestra Señora del Carmen). It has a backyard closed by the city wall.

No category

Jaén´s landscape

The encounter with the landscape of Jaén and its people surprised the young Lorca, accustomed to the flat fertility of the gardens and plains of Granada. Undoubtedly, this landscape clearly influenced him during his long peri-urban walks along the Cerro del Alcázar, on the remains of the old wall. A place that Machado also frequented assiduously.

The display offered by the skyline of “blue mountains, in which the towns shine their diamond whiteness of faded light”, in clear reference to the Aznaitín and Mágina massifs, will leave a mark on his work, as explained below:


I Baeza

(…) If you walk further, the grasslands are so strong that they swallow up the stones on the ground, anxiously licking the walls …, and if we cross a few more alleys, we can contemplate the majestic symphony of a splendid landscape. An immense basin surrounded by blue mountains, in which the towns shine their diamond whiteness of faded light. Shady and brave chords of olive groves contrast with the sierras, which are deep purple on the skirts. (…)